Akshaya Patra to Host Unprecedented Virtual Gala This Year in Response to Covid-19 Challenge

Vandana Tilak
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BOSTON—Virtual fundraising gala. Yes, virtual. Akshaya Patra, the world’s largest mid-day meal provider which holds its Boston fundraising gala every year, said it will host an unprecedented virtual gala this year in response to Covid-19 crisis.

The Virtual Gala scheduled for May 3rd at 5.30 pm EST is unheard of and hosted by Akshaya Patra’s Boston Chapter team and donors. The gala features two keynote speakers. Ashish Jha, a professor at Harvard Chan School of Public Health, is much sought after in the media as an expert on COVID-19 and Prof. Kash Rangan, who teaches at Harvard Business School, and is familiar with Akshaya Patra.

“As everything on the Planet is going through a metamorphosis, we ourselves need to change how we view things and operate under the new conditions, without giving up our commitment to share what we have with those less fortunate,” said Akshaya Patra Foundation USA CEO Vandana Tilak. “Our children need to be fed and our fundraising will not stop.”

Akshaya Patra serves hot and nutritious school lunch to 1.8 million children in India.

“In a crisis, we change our behaviors and adapt to the new circumstances for the greater good of society,” Akshaya Patra said in a statement. “With the global Covid crisis, we must stand behind our caregivers – from medical professionals to our circle of family and friends. We must also extend our compassion and care to all mankind, especially those less fortunate and experiencing extreme hardship during this time.”

Akshaya Patra’s experience in food preparation and distribution, with 55 kitchens nationally, has allowed the organization to quickly address the food crisis made worse because of the pandemic.

“Since the national lockdown on March 24th, Akshaya Patra has served over 5 million free meals to marginalized communities, primarily migrant and wage workers,” the Akshaya Patra statement said. “Along with cooked meals, Akshaya Patra has distributed 7,000 food kits – essential grocery boxes that can feed 1 person for 21 days – We are currently operating in Rajasthan, Karnataka, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, but are quickly working to include more states and more meals for those hit hardest by COVID-19.”

The cost per food box that feeds two people for 21 days is $25.00.

In the US, Akshaya Patra planned and executed 40 benefit events in 2019. With the possibility of not being able to have live events, changing course by planning out the technology, the logistics and using the tremendous opportunity to rally the community together, the organization has finalized a virtual gala, open to anyone on the globe.

For more information: www.foodforeducation.org

To register for the virtual gala, please email to contact@apusa.org.


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